Farmington Hills library event celebrates Asian Pacific heritage

A Saturday event at the Farmington Community Library in Farmington Hills will celebrate Asian Pacific heritage with stories, dancing, crafts, and more.

Christina Mui Amata and her daughter Elizabeth approached children’s librarian Kristel Sexton with the idea, after Elizabeth organized the Asian American Student Union (AASU) at Farmington High School. Her cousins are leading a similar group at North Farmington.

Asian Pacific American Heritage

Amplifying APA voices

“We both felt strongly that it would be good for the club to do something with the community,” Amata said. “We wanted a way that we could celebrate in a safe way. We’re all so tired of Zoom, especially for kids.”

Having worked on another library event, Amata decided that would be a good place to start. Sexton was more than happy to work with her.

“I jumped at the chance,” Sexton said, “because I wanted to do something that was centered in the community and amplifying their voices.”

Michigan Polynesian Dancers

Stories, dance, crafts

The fun starts with a story time at 11 a.m. At 11:30 a.m., the Polynesian Dancers of Michigan will perform different cultural dances. Then, arts and crafts tables open up, with opportunities to make origami, Chinese lanterns, Rangoli art, and more.

Asian American Student Union members will volunteer, Sexton said. “I am really excited to have students as part of the event.”

With activities geared toward kids in grades K-5, Amata hopes to foster understanding across the community. Hate crimes against Asian Pacific Americans are on the rise, as some blame them for the spread of COVID-19.

“We’ve all been through taunting and teasing,” she said. “For elementary kids, it’s got to be really scary. I think this is a wonderful way to help them learn to respect other cultures, respect our differences, and understand that Asian Pacific Americans are definitely part of the community and have made contributions.”

Supporting libraries

Amata also believes in supporting libraries. When her family moved to the Detroit area in the late 1960s, she said, they spent hours at the McGregor Library in Highland Park.

“I feel like the library is such an integral part of the American experience for immigrants,” she said.

Sexton hopes that members of the APA community feel welcome at this and all library activities.

“I want our Asian Pacific American community to know the library is a safe and welcoming place, and we stand with them,” she said.

If you go

  • You’ll find activities in the south parking lot (near the seats shaped like a hand) at 32737 W. 12 Mile Rd. in Farmington Hills.
  • Because this event is geared toward younger children, please wear masks and social distance.
  • Everything is free, thanks to the Friends of the Library and the AASU.
  • Learn more at https://farmlib.org/events

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